Looking at the Rain

I’m looking both at the rain and the weather forecast. The next 48 hours will be rain today and slush/snow tomorrow. The  rain has been tapping against our South windows and I see the branches moving too. According to the radar there are no breaks in sights. So unless I want to get soaked there is no running for me in the next 48 hours. Plus let’s be honest, with an international flight planned in the upcoming weeks I am not going to risk weakening my immune system. This is the kind of day when I understand appeal of a gym or a treadmill.

And yes I do have a water-resistant jacket but I know my feet would get soaked and I don’t want to damage the shoes.

What do you do when it rains? Do you gear up and go? Do you watch out the window like me waiting for the storm to calm down? Do you hop on the treadmill?

No Turkey Trot but a Trail Run

I didn’t do a Turkey Trot. I could have, there was one at the park a mile away from my house. But since I knew I was working a 2nd shift at work I wanted to get my beauty sleep. I’m actually glad I didn’t go, there was 1500 runners in the small park. People had to walk the first mile it was so crowded.

So instead I went to run in my own time in Bent Creek, my local favorite trail running spot. I was not alone there. Many bikers and runners had had the same idea: to run off before the turkey hit them. What a gorgeous day it was: perfect blue skies and temperatures going from the mid 40’s at 10am to the mid 50’s by 11am when I was done. A perfect day to run. I did 7.7 miles, starting at Rice Pinnacle parking lot, following Hardtime Connector, I ran on the trail section around the lake then up Pine Tree and Explorer Trails, looping back to the car. While I usually come across maybe one or two runners, today I saw over 10 of them. I shouted a few Happy Thanksgiving here and there. It was nice.

I’m also very proud of my husband who went home to see his family (lucky him he wasn’t working) and ran his first 6 miles in the company of his sister. It included two good uphill. It makes me glad because it means I can take him on some of my favorite trails runs now 🙂

I was thankful that I ran because our guests left lots of foods in the buffet room and I was able to have a Thanksgiving Dinner after all. I may have to go again after work tomorrow to be honest.

This year I am thankful for my husband, my families and being able to run. I couldn’t do without those three. Happy Thanksgiving.

PS: If you go to a hotel, a restaurant or any place where someone is working on Thanksgiving, take the time to thank them for it. We are taking time away from our families for You! And trust me, those thank you are rare. I had my first in three years tonight.

7.7 miles in 1:08:06 @8:50 pace

Monday Speedwork: 6.21 mi

Warm-up: 2.39mi in 21’15” @8:53 Pace
10x400m repeats: 1’40”, 1’39”, 1’37”, 1’35”, 1’34”, 1’39”, 1’39”, 1’41”, 1’35”, 1’38” 6:22->6:46pace
Cool off: 1.32mi in11’24” @8.38 pace

An Active Day Off Is a Relaxing Day

Bouldering at Rumbling BaldI’ve had days off when I felt like I did nothing productive. Sure I talked to my family overseas, paid bills, but I stayed inside all day and ended up feeling more tired by the end of the day than I should. Feeling relaxed seems likes a dichotomy when it comes to me. See yesterday for example

I woke up at 7am to join my running group on the Mountain to Sea Trail. We ran 5.3 miles in the cold, temperatures were in the high 20’s. I could have stayed home under the warm blankets, but I found more motivation and satisfaction in knowing that I would get to not only run but hang out with fellow runners.

I came back home, showered and made brunch: sautéed fingerlings potatoes with eggs while my husband fried eggs. We ate at our breakfast table in the kitchen, soaking in the sun pouring through the south windows.

I changed clothes for the third time that day. It was his day off too and he wanted to go bouldering. So we went. It wasn’t as warm as expected, only in the high 40’s, low 50’s, the sun barely peaking through the clouds. We met with a friend at the amazing bouldering field of Rumbling Bald. A site almost destroyed by developers and saved right on time by the Climbers Coalition and the title of State Park.Bouldering in November

While bouldering is intense when you are climbing, I always end up having a chill afternoon, walking first to the boulders, watching my husband and friends climb and make it look easy. Then here I am struggling to do a few easy problems (bouldering routes). I really only climb for brief amounts of time but it sure is intense on the arm muscles. A great cross-training sport to be honest.

Then we went home, did a few groceries, I made us some flounder fish “burgers” with mayo, Thai curry paste, green onions and lime; served it with green beans and fried onion rings while we watched the football games.

So it was a busy day off and yet I feel more rested than I have all week.

What makes you feel rested?

 

Saucony Xodus 2.0 Review

I’ve had those trail running shoes since the spring and I’m absolutely in love with them. I love them so much I now own two pairs of Saucony Xodus 2.0. I’m petite: 5’1 and my feet sure match that. When I got fitted for trail running shoes the salesperson commented on how tiny my feet are. As a result there were limited options to what would really fit me, this was one of them.

Well let me tell you those Saucony fit me like a glove. I wish there was a road version of those. The narrow version of the shoe is just right for me. I usually go for 6 1/2 on city shoes, 7 is a better sizing for the running one.

I run with them on all sorts of trails: muddy, dry, rocky, gravel, gravel road, trails full of roots. I’ve never had a problem, they really do have a great grip.

If I remember correctly they are neutral shoes. In any case when running on trail it’s best not to have too much support. A trail running shoes is best when a little more rigid so you’re less at risk to roll an ankle or twist a knee by bouncing off.

They are also very comfortable, no odd pressure point anywhere and that from the very beginning. I honestly can’t find anything wrong with them. I have not tried running in snow or ankle dip in a creek, but my feet has not gotten wet so far neither humid from sweat. I’ve run anywhere from 5-14 miles in them with the same feeling of comfort.

After 200 miles on them the blue has washed off a bit, but they don’t stink and other than the mud they are not showing any wear and tear.

What Saucony says:

  • Durable running shoe for the most aggressive trails
  • 10.8 oz
  • An internal fit system that hugs the foot to handle various terrain
  •  Breathable, moisture wicking, anti-odor and antimicrobial Ortholite® insole
  • Heel ProGrid™ to absorb impact
  • SRC(Super Rebound Compound) Impact Zone and  Forefoot Cushioning
  • Vibram Trek Outsole

What I say:

Pro:

  • I don’t get any blister issues with them.
  • They have a good grip. I have yet to fall with those (hoping I don’t jinx myself here)
  • The support is sufficient to be comfortable but not too much that it throws me off balance on the runs.
  • I love the lace pocket at the top. My laces stay attached no matter how long I run.
  • There is a metal loop at the front to attach gaiters if needed.
  • Reflective material on the front and back, although I don’t really run on trails at night so it hasn’t had much use.
  • I love the design and color but that’s very accessory.

Con:

  • I’d like the same shoes with a road version.

What is your favorite trail running shoe?

9 Miles Are a Confidance Booster

Since I had to take a running break due to medical reasons I haven’t been back to my long runs. Well I did an 8 miles run early November, but my knee started hurting. Then I hiked about 10 miles with my husband’s sister and that knee was so painful on the downhill.

So I’ve been trying to be more careful and I’ve been using the foam roller that I won at the Half Marathon. It seems to be doing to trick because today I did my favorite loop in Bent Creek: Hickory Top. https://trailrunningchick.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=postA 9.36 mile run with about 830 feet of elevation change and I felt good. Sure the moment I stopped running I could feel the soreness in my knee, but it didn’t bother me at all during the run. What a confidence booster it is to be able to do a long run again.

Not to mention it was the perfect day to try a new purchase I need to talk about: a running jacket. The weather was partly cloudy with temperature in the low 40’s and a sneaky wind. I had a Watermelon Chump prior and a Sublime Lime GU gel during. I’m really not sold on the taste. I had it because I needed it, but I think that flavor wise I love Cliff’s products so much more, they have less of the chemical taste that I find in GU.

I only had a little piece of pancake, half a banana and some almond butter that morning, but ran a lot later than planned. On the way back I enjoyed a tortilla with a scrambled egg, cheese, salsa and lettuce.

This week: 5.94 miles on the Mountain to Sea Trail (2 of those with my husband) at an 8:58 pace

9.36 miles on Bent Creek Trails at 9:31 pace.

I’m still hoping to join my running group saturday morning. But I have to hope that we’re done with the attic insulation work my husband and his brother are starting tomorrow\.

Breaking the 23′

I wanted to go run yesterday. But I also needed to deep clean the floors of our house after my in-laws and their dogs visit.

By the time the floors were shiny enough I had less than an hour left before leaving for work. So I decided to run, as fast as I could, on a little 3.1 miles loop around our neighborhood. It was cold and windy which motivated me even more because I needed to warm up.

Maybe it was just what I needed because while this is not an official course in any way, I was back at my mailbox in 22’48”. Not only was I happy to run but thrilled to see my time. That is the best pace (7:21) I’ve run for a sustained period of time. Now I really need to sign up for a 5K and see how I can do in a race.

It sure feels good to get my speed back.

GU Isn’t Just for Sport

GU SampleOver the summer I ordered a bunch of GU product through The Climb. I’ve barely used them so far and I’ve had to try to keep my husband’s hands off of it. He thinks he needs it for a 4 mile run, I think it’s unnecessary until you start running an hour.With the little running I’ve been doing they’ve been mainly staying on the shelf, until Monday night.

Monday night I was scheduled to work an overnight shift: 11pm until 8am to cover the night manager currently on vacation. We had had a debate at work regarding what is the best thing to use to stay up:
-“Coffee” one said. I don’t drink coffee.
-“Red Bull” is what my manager swear by. I don’t remember it doing anything to me.
-“No, 5 hour energy drink is what you should take, you don’t get the caffeine crash” was my colleague suggestion.

Well I kind of procrastinated and by Monday night was still debating what to get. So when my husband suggested I just take  GU with me since it has caffeine, I thought why not? I could always drink Coca at work if it didn’t work. So the Jet Blackberry went in my pocket.
The week prior to my overnight I made sure to go to bed as late as I could, 2am the night prior. So until 3am I was fine. At that point I had my “lunch” a salad, since I couldn’t fathom real food. By 4am I started to feel the night, so that’s when I pulled out the GU. I’m not sure how fond I am of the taste, a little too chemical for me, I’ve enjoyed the mandarin one much better.
But guess what? It worked. At 6am I was still up and running. And while I’m sure that the walk through I did of the hotel helped as well, I had enough energy to make it through the night and drive home after 8am.

By then the effects were wearing off, which is just fine because my bed was waiting for me. I slept until 1:30pm and then went for a small 3.6 mi run to shake it off.

I read the back of the package and GU contains Coca leaf, no wonder it helped. That’s what the inhabitants of the Andes use to stay awake and feel neither hunger nor thirst. It might not be the use GU intended but if I have to work an overnight shift again, I’ll have a GU in my pocket.

What do you use sports energy product for other than sports?

Taking Pictures on the Run

There is only one issue I have with running: I can’t really take my camera with me.
I don’t own fancy dslr with lenses, but I do own a bridge. While it’s been a great camera for the last 5 or 6 years, it’s bulky enough that it won’t fit in any pocket.Let alone be something I could take on a run, it would bounce around.

We don’t have one of the new fancy phones either. Our current one is 1.2mega pixel, and with no plans to upgrade to the 4G there is little option on the next upgrade. 2 to 3 mega pixel would be my best option.
To be honest, the 4G phones seem to big fit in my bottle’s pouch anyway.

We have a point and shoot at home but it still seem a little big. Maybe I need to look into getting an ultra compact one.

I did find two good articles on Runners World regarding cameras:

Runner Friendly Camera (2008)

Photos on the Run

Do you take pictures when you run? What kind of device do you use?

First Wintery Run of the Year

It’s been kind of nice to slowly run again. Not being signed up for a race of any sort I just run for running, without a goal. I’ve been doing between 4 and 6 miles. I’m hoping to increase it a little soon, I miss going in Bent Creek’s long trail, especially Hickory Top’s 9 miler which I’m sure is beautiful right now.

This past week-end I visited my in-laws in Georgia. I made plans to run on the AT (Appalachian Trail) from Neels Gap going North since it was a little easier than attempting Blood Mountain. Well, we may not have had the snow storm that the Northern states got, but it sure was cold. It was in the low 30’s when I started and I was thankfully for doubling up a shirt plus long sleeves. My headband was welcomed on my ears as the wind blew a frigid air but I did miss my gloves.

I went up in the forest, no one was on the trail, it was eerie as the fog started to lift. I found the forest to be quite shiny. I thought at first it was the rain from last night, until I realized all the trees, leaves and branches were covered with a thin shell of ice. It was incredibly beautiful and I paused to admire it.
It was a little less fun when the wind blew and threw a bunch of ice pieces into my face thought.

The view from Levelland Mountain was amazing, again I took a break in my run. Now going up Levelland on the way back was no piece of cake and my run turned into a bit of a hike. Especially when my knee started hurting on the downhill, I felt like I pinched a nerve. It’s better but came back on my run this morning.

Do you enjoy running outside when it’s cold? What kind of winter gear do you use?